News

Statement on the end of the 2019 UFCW Stop & Shop Worker Strike
MA AFL-CIO President, Steven A. Tolman

On Feb. 15, just days after massive layoffs at Activision Blizzard, the AFL-CIO issued a powerful public statement of support to game developers in the United States. Its message, published in an open letter at Kotaku, was both simple and profound.

The Trump administration announced Monday that it will terminate the provisional residency permits of about 200,000 Salvadorans who have lived in the country since at least 2001, leaving them to face deportation.

All workers deserve a fair wage, regardless of age. I was troubled to read Katie Johnston’s article suggesting that a potential ballot initiative raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Massachusetts would have negative economic impacts, specifically for teen workers (“In $15 minimum wage, some see pain for teens,” Business, Dec. 26). This could not be further from the truth.

The developers of a train that would travel nearly half the speed of sound and get passengers from New York to Washington, D.C., in about an hour signed a memorandum of understanding to only use union labor on the project.

Under the agreement, all work on the project will be done by members of unions that form the building trades, including the IBEW. In return, the unions commit to active involvement in bringing the project to fruition said Kirk Brungard, executive director of the Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades.

A decade ago or so, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center and the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that making the Bush tax cuts permanent — rather than letting them expire in 2010 — would increase the after-tax income of people earning $1 million or more up to 7 percent, an order of magnitude more than it would increase the size of the economy in the long term.

These days, it’s hard to keep straight all of Congress’ efforts to build plutocracy — the further consolidation of the power of the richest Americans at the expense of the rest of us. 

With the Senate passing a multi-trillion dollar job-killing giveaway of our tax dollars to the people and companies who need it least, you might have missed the bill moving through the Senate to deregulate Wall Street and consumer finance. 

As National Apprenticeship Week kicks off, a new report from the Working for America Institute and Jobs With Justice Education Fund profiles a Washington state apprenticeship program as a successful example of a workforce intermediary partnership. These partnerships bring together unions and employers to recruit, train, and diversify the workforce for a given industry or a specific employer.

As a pillar of the Democratic Party, unions have wanted for years to see mainstream Democrats push for major reforms to the law that would rejuvenate the ranks of organized labor. At the press conference Wednesday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka applauded the proposals, but also emphasized that many Democrats have taken their union support for granted.

Over 200 delegates and guests gathered on October 17 and 18 for the Biennial Convention of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. The Convention theme of unity was reflected throughout the proceedings, from the resolutions that were passed to the Convention Lobby Day, in which dozens of unions and hundreds of union members from every sector lobbied their elected officials around a shared pro-working family agenda.

“The top goal of our 2017 strategic plan was unity,” declared President Steven Tolman, “and this past year we came together like few times in our history.”